Thoughtful teens help parents
Changing tables have been installed at a Kerikeri public toilet thanks to two Springbank School students.
Max Stovell, 13, and Naaman Boxer, 14, were proud to see change tables installed in both the women’s and men’s Far North District Council toilets on Cobham Rd in November.
The work to get the facilities started in February as part of their Year 9 enterprise class where the students were tasked with working on a project to benefit the community.
Max was inspired after seeing his mother Emma unable to change his two-year-old sister Lake at the public toilets.
‘‘We started planning how we could start the project, so we did a business plan and did a survey to see if we would get community approval,’’ Max says.
‘‘It’s cool to see it finished, it was a lot of work,’’ he says.
The boys approached 100 parents and grandparents over several weekends at local markets with a survey to gauge whether the community needed a public place to change nappies in Kerikeri - over 95 per cent said they would like the facilities.
From there the pair approached local businesses who sponsored raffle prizes, with an eventual $392 raised, from the raffle among other donations.
Then the boys shared a 600-word speech at a Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board meeting, after which the council agreed to install new change tables and pay the remaining $582 for the $974 project from the council’s repairs and maintenance fund.
The boys said it was important that change tables were installed in both the men’s and women’s toilets.
Max’s mother Emma says she is proud of the boy’s efforts.
‘‘They have done it all themselves - contacted sponsors, sold raffle tickets - I’m incredibly proud,’’ Emma says.
‘‘Most parents will be appreciative, there are not many places you can change so most parents have to change their kids in the car.’’
Council senior technical officer Mike Colebrook says the council appreciated the boys’ idea.
‘‘These young fellas have come up with a modern idea.’’
Where possible and if funds allow the council would look to install change tables at other public toilets, Colebrook says.
Naaman Boxer and Max Stovell have successfully organised for the installation of changing tables in Kerikeri.